Facebook and Politics

Facebook DuelI love Facebook. I have been able to connect with so many past acquaintances and friends it is amazing. What I love most about Facebook is the ability for me to share my life with my friends in a way that I have never been able to before. I see a window into their experiences and beliefs, and they into mine. Lately I have had a number of really good discussion with some of my friends, for those who are not in on the Facebook scene, I thought I’d re-post some of them here.

Oct 8th, in response to my posting of:

Barack Obama Lies To America 6:38pm

All politicians lie in one form or another. But i don’t think flip flopping over his pastor is that important. I also hope people don’t vote solely on the candidates religious beliefs.
No Matt, I hope people don’t vote solely on any one issue. I don’t view the Rev. Wright issue as a religious one but rather political. Wright is more of a politician than preacher in many respects. His anti American and pro black supremacy rhetoric concern me more that any of his religious beliefs. The fact that Barack used his affiliation with the church to advance his political career, lie about it, then dump his friend like a stinking fish when politically convenient tells me a lot about his character.
either way, just because obama was a part of this church, it doesn’t mean he was a strong believer in EVERYTHING Wright was preaching. neither you nor i can really prove or disprove that. i can honestly say i dont know everything on this issue. but from what i have researched, your youtube video doesn’t point out the fact that in between these two interviews, Wright gave raciest public speeches to deliberately hurt obama’s campaign because obama was distancing himself from the pastor’s raciest comments. Of course he is going to dump him a “stinking fish”.
I’ve always been mad that all politicians tend to lie in one form or another, it’s the one thing that turns me off from politics. Really we need to stop the name calling and tearing down of either candidate in a way like that, and realize that both conservatives and liberals have a lot to contribute. It’s not about good and evil, it’s about our personal views on stability and change, the former being a more conservative viewpoint and the latter more liberal. Both sides have very good logical reasons to be fighting for that cause, and both causes are necessary for a better world.

Okay, I’ll bite. This is going to be out there for everyone to see.

Tim, I’ve been seeing your pro-Romney, then pro-McCain posts show up in my feed here for some time now (PS – look up the White Horse prophecy, it has been widely repudiated). These posts and twitters have primarily amused me. But this is a serious race, and I think you are ignoring a large number of issues here, so I am going to try to address some of them.

I’m going to start by saying that I, too, am disturbed by Jeremiah Wright, and Obama’s connection to him. Really, what kind of guy picks that kind of person as a spiritual leader? Where is his judgment? Is he completely devoid of any spiritual capacity, if he thought that was inspiring? These are completely valid and damaging points against Obama. Let me also state that I’m voting for neither Obama or McCain.

But let’s go deeper. First off, Obama and McCain, as candidates, are almost identical to each other. We have a one-party system in this country. They are almost exactly the same, and they try to magnify minute differences to make it appear that they’re wildly different, but they’re not. If you can’t see this, take a look at their foreign policy: Their differences on Iraq and Afghanistan are excruciatingly minor! We’re talking about a difference of withdrawal times as a matter of months in Iraq, and virtually no difference on Afghanistan. They both want to send troops in for nation-building. Or the economy: They both voted for the $800 billion bailout package that was full of pork barrel spending. Thousands of economists have said it is probably unnecessary and that we have time to study the situation, yet neither party or candidate even attempted to look at other possible options such as forcing bankruptcies, stock ownership, or any of the other plans that have largely been ignored by the mainstream media.

Both Democrats and Republicans are afraid to stand out. I voted for McCain in the 2000 primaries, but since then, he’s flip-flopped on over 75 issues. Seventy-five! Here’s the link: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/flipflops He couldn’t even vote against waterboarding this spring, he voted ‘present’. And if we’re concerned about Obama’s judgment and morals, don’t forget that McCain ditched his first wife because she got overweight, then he cheated on her with his second while he was still married.

And now he announced his plan to buy up every bad mortgage in the country and resell it at a loss. This is obviously insanely stupid. Now to make it interesting, this was similar to something Biden said in last week’s debate, claiming it was an Obama idea to “re-negotiate mortgages”. But now that McCain is being ridiculed for suggesting the government take on trillions more dollars of bad debt, Obama is calling him ‘Out of Touch’ and is distancing himself from that plan.

If you want to get into lies, McCain has said plenty of them. How’s he doing on campaign finance reform? Or, as I mentioned, torture? He has repeatedly misquoted Ahmedinajad by using the incorrect translation of some interpreter in the Bush Administration regarding Israel. And he double-talks about government spending while proposing a multi-trillion dollar mortgage bailout.

Don’t you see that it’s all just a big circus act? Both of these guys are clowns. Sarah Palin is the biggest clown of all. As far as I can tell, the only real difference between the two candidates is who they’ll appoint to the Supreme Court. Now, strict constructionism and judicial activism are issues I can get excited about. And have they even discussed the issues in these terms? Of course not.Why vote for either of these tools, when they’re clearly just trying to play us off of each other? We all know California is a blue state. Why not vote for a third party this year, as a protest vote? There is the Constitutional party, the Libertarian party, and the list goes on. There’s a good chance that you can find a party that actually defines its stance, instead of giving out the double talk we’re used to hearing.

My goal here is not to promote Obama over McCain or McCain over Obama. As I said, I am voting for neither. I focused more on McCain just to point out the silliness of calling Obama a liar, when they are clearly in league with each other. My only goal here is that we, especially Mormons, think critically about our political paradigm and escape from this two-party mold, which is clearly a broken system (incidentally, it was against the original intent of the founding fathers, as well). We owe it to ourselves and to our country.

All the best,

Ryan
You’re goosed this year, Timmy. See you in 8. Maybe 12.
Forget the church for a minute, this election is all about inheriting a diving economy from W. That should be on the front burner more than anything else!
Ha, hopefully you’re wrong David, the election hasn’t happened yet : ) And even if BO wins I won’t be going anywhere. As for the economy John, you’re right it’s a huge liability for McCain. Traditionally the sitting president gets credit for the state of the economy. However, the housing market problem was pushed by Democrats. On 11 separate occasions over the last decade , (some say 12 but I’ve only found 11) Republicans pushed for reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were repeatedly blocked. Both organizations have connection with the Clinton administration and now Obama’s campaign. … I should blog about this. I’ve got too much to put in a comment box.
Oh and Ryan, I agree with you 75%. I think that insinuating I don’t take the election seriously was uncalled for, I’m not sure what prophecy you’re talking about, and I disagree with your 3rd party protest vote, but other than that I pretty much agree. : )I’ve never been a McCain fan but I feel that Obama is going to take our country in a very dangerous direction. And yes, I do mean dangerous. Politics is really a series of compromises, I understand that. No individual will ever get 100% of what they want, if that was the case we would have a monarchy. Instead we debate and try to persuade others to our point of view to obtain a majority. If either McCain or Obama wins I will continue to voice my opinion. McCain’s beliefs are closer to mine than Obama’s. I know there are some people I am just not going to persuade. The people who have commented on this post are included in that group. However, I think the discussion is good for everyone. So, Thank You!

Thanks Tim! No, I was not insinuating that you aren’t taking it seriously. Far from it. I wrote that you seemed to be ignoring a large number of issues, based on what shows up in my feed.

If you agree with McCain, by all means vote for him. He’s a moving target though, and that makes me nervous. I haven’t decided yet who I’m voting for, but a protest vote is only meaningful if you agree with who you’re voting for, and I meant that there are many parties that may align more closely with one’s beliefs than one of two major parties that compromises on pretty much every issue. I think Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, for example, is stronger on the Constitution and family values, without all the big spending that both the Republicans and Democrats have/are/will push through. He is a little evangelical-ish, however.

I am just an advocate of exploring all the issues and parties. I think you wrote once during the primaries that Romney was the last or only conservative.

At the time, Ron Paul was still in the race, and he was much more conservative than Romney.

My point is more about how our system is just messed up. For example, during the debate, CNN had a live “scorecard” on the candidates. Lame. As a news organization, why didn’t they have a live fact-checking box instead? Then, I would have learned that the $3 million projector McCain was whining about was actually for a Planetarium, without having to go look it up myself on the internet.

I suppose in the end, my angst should be directed more towards the apathy of the average American for taking what these two guys say at face value and believing any of it, and allowing news organizations to get away with sloppy one-sided reporting. I don’t believe you’re one of those people!

Ryan, once again I mostly agree with you : ) Maybe I was reading too much into your first comments so thanks for clarifying. My views on our 2 party system are a bit more than I feel like writing right now, but I’ll definitely put it on my to do list. Hopefully it will show up on my web site before the election.

I do completely agree with your statement about the apathy of the average American. Our world has been reduced down to 15 second sound bites, a headline, and late night comedy. I’m not surprised that CNN had a “scorecard.” I find it almost impossible to find unbiased reporting anywhere. I do what you do, I question things and try to discover the source of the claim. McCain did mention the Planetarium in the debate when he first mentioned the projector, however both candidates love to throw out vote counts and other facts and statistics that really don’t mean much on face value or are out right distortions or lies. The media isn’t holding them accountable, so we need to.

Amen to that about the sound bites.. What I meant about the planetarium is that it was a real commercial planetarium projector, not a dinky little one, which costed $10 mil (mostly private funded) and requested by the state legislature, not Obama.

Oct 15th, in response to my posting of:

Laura, thanks for voicing your opinions, I’m glad you decided to do it on my wall!! : )
In the interest of equal exposure… Hope I don’t offend you!! It was just hanging out there begging for a response!

Yes, Prop 8 does not mention education, it’s only 14 words. However, recently in San Francisco 6 year olds were taken to their teacher’s gay wedding during school hours. (http://tinyurl.com/5xrpby)

The school didn’t see it as a problem because “Same-sex marriage is legal.” I would agree that in most cases under CA law parents will be notified and allowed to withdraw their children from class in such circumstances.

If you read Judge Frawley’s ruling (http://tinyurl.com/578h6a) he says that the Prop 8 argument “that teachers ‘will be required’ to teach young children about gay marriage” was false and misleading”.

It is true that CA law currently doesn’t “require” teaching about gay marriage but that doesn’t mean CA law will remain that way if gay marriage remains legal. In MA teachers ARE required to teach about gay marriage. The recent case of a teacher who read a book to her students without parental notification brought this issue to light. (http://tinyurl.com/kjsu9)

Laura, you repeatedly state that marriage is a fundamental right established in the CA constitution. The May 15th supreme court ruling was a split decision, 4-3.

Justice Baxter, one of the nay votes, said in his dissenting opinion, (http://tinyurl.com/3kp9ql)

“Nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the majority’s startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage —an understanding recently confirmed by an initiative law — is no longer valid. California statutes already recognize same-sex unions and grant them all the substantive legal rights this state can bestow. If there is to be a further sea change in the social and legal understanding of marriage itself, that evolution should occur by similar democratic means. The majority forecloses this ordinary democratic process, and, in doing so, oversteps its authority.”

The right for anyone to marry anyone was interpreted into the constitution by 4 justices.
P.S. No Laura you haven’t offended me. : ) I honestly appreciate you voicing your point of view and sharing your comments. I really try to make every effort to understand all sides of an issue. This is a very tricky topic. I don’t want to eliminate someones rights, I don’t think anyone does. At the same time I want to see our society be as successful as possible and maintain my right to worship God as I feel he has directed mankind to worship for 1000’s of years. The family is the core of our society. No civilization has endured that has seen a degradation of the core family unit. The family is already facing enormous strain, single parents, divorce rates, pornography, substance abuse, abortions, low fertility rates, etc. I truly see gay marriage as further diluting the sanctity and importance of the family unit. Is my family perfect? No, of course not, is anyone’s? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that I can just give up and stop seeking to strengthening the family.

I am typing on an iPhone so my answers can’t really compete in length. I would be here all night.

As far as the kids going to a wedding… I am sure their parents gave permission for them to go. The fact they went isn’t the questionable thing. Should you as a parent have the right to opt out of having your child participate? Yes. Do you? Yes. I don‘t have issue with gay marriage being presented as “normal” to children. To me it is normal. I can understand why some people wouldn’t think so.

As far as the interpretation goes… There is prejudice against the gay community. During the civil rights movement there were people against desegregation but you know what? They were wrong and so is this prop. Restore marriage my butt. We live in a country with a 50% divorce rate! Like straight people are the only ones who should be allowed to give it a shot.
Let’s just call it what it is. You believe being gay is immoral. I get it. You have the right to that opinion. You don’t have the right to force that opinion on me. I think this is all a non-issue. It doesn’t affect ME if gays marry. I think there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to. Any two people (adults) who want to bind themselves together financially should be able to.
First off, mad props on your iPhone skills. I’ve used that “keyboard” and it is a real pain : )Hmm… where to start. This conversation is getting good. I think we’re getting to the real meat of this debate.

I think it’s interesting that you said that “any two people (adults) who want to bind themselves together financially should be able to.”

Two things stand out to me in this statement.

1. You placed a limitation on marriage, you said that it should be between two adults. If you agree with the court’s decisions that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment (http://tinyurl.com/xxj) applies to gay marriage, then how can you or the courts discriminate between multiple members of the same sex? Why is marriage limited to two people? Or, why is marriage limited between close relatives? Why shouldn’t we recognize polygamist or incestuous marriages? This application of the 14th amendment is a stretch at best according to many constitutional scholars and and has been ultimately overturned in US supreme court cases in Florida. These rulings were then overturned based on other laws, but the 14th amendment has been traditionally interpreted as relating to due process, which is not being denied to anyone in California.
2. You defined marriage as a financial bond. If that is all you want then gay couples can already have that in California through domestic partnerships.To put everything on the table, yes, I do believe that being gay is immoral. That is my opinion, however that is not my primary reason for being in support of Proposition 8.

I feel very strongly that children have the best chance of achieving their full potential when they are raised by a loving mother and father. Study after study has shown this to be the case.

Even though my church has very specifically taken a stance against homosexuality, there are of course many gay family members and friends of church members who have been actively seeking for the church to change its’ position. By elevating gay marriage to a right equal with racial rights this would give these people the legal standing and ability to sue the church for the ability to marry in the church, possibly seek church membership, use church facilities, etc. Just last September a Methodist church lost their tax exempt status after refusing to perform a civil union ceremony in New Jersey (http://tinyurl.com/4p7ys3). I don’t think it unreasonable to think that churches will begin to see prosecution related to their gay marriage positions.

I realize that for you this probably isn’t a big concern given that you don’t believe in religion but the majority of Californians do and we don’t want to see your beliefs forced on us.

Like I said earlier, this is a very difficult position. I think most people are fine with same sex couples having domestic partnerships with visitation rights, financial benefits, etc. It’s unfortunate that the issue has been pushed to the point where the gay movement is, purposely or inadvertently, pushing their beliefs on others.
Ok I fell asleep early last night because studying for the GRE is kicking my butt. I typed a really long and wonderful response to you this morning and Facebook had issues posting it. I know it would have opened your eyes to the truth… hahahahaha…Comparing gay marriage to incest and polygamy is ridiculous. We both know why these things aren’t legal. I can’t even respond to that.
The issue I have with a domestic partnership is that separate but equal does not work. It didn’t work during segregation and it still doesn’t work now. If domestic partnership and marriage are the same, with the exception of the sexes of the people involved in the couples, then it should just be the same. How many studies have been done on how children do when raised by a committed homosexual couple? Probably not too many. How do we know that children wouldn’t thrive in a situation with two parents, regardless of sex.
I get it you know… your church is very strongly against the gay community. You believe that it is a choice that people make. It isn’t. No matter what you think, being gay is not a choice. Come on, who in their right mind would choose it? This does affect you and your community because the more tolerant society is to the gay community, the less tolerant society will be to you NOT tolerating them. It is like racism. It used to be acceptable but it isn’t anymore. Society has come a long way in trying to change something that was indecent. The gays aren’t pushing their beliefs on you by demanding equal treatment under the law. You are pushing your on them by deciding that they shouldn’t get it. You are pushing your religious beliefs on me and I don’t appreciate that. I believe that people should be allowed to live how they choose. You can be mormon. I can be gay. I don’t have the right to say you can’t be mormon just because I don’t believe or agree with it.
CA isn’t New Jersey. There is already protection for your church in our law. What has happened in other states doesn’t apply here because every state has different law. I strongly agree with you that churches should not be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies. But I don’t think that means they shouldn’t be allowed in the state. It goes back to that whole Church and State issue that I believe is a necessary part of our society. I don’t want to be forced into religious beliefs that I don’t agree with. Religions shouldn’t be forced to conform to standards of society. I am not religious but I RESPECT religion. It is a concern for me that you are able to worship how you see fit and so am I. Religion is important to some people. I in no way mean to say that I don’t care about your rights. I don’t think your BELIEFS should be made in to law.
ok… I guess I should work now. I realize that we aren’t going to change each other’s minds. I respect your opinion. I whole heartedly disagree with it and am saddened that we live in a world where discrimination is still such a major issue. I believe in Equality for All. All means everyone not just the people who fit your definition of what “normal” is.
Tim Alatorre at 7:03pm October 17
Not to deviate too much from the topic but when are you taking the GRE’s? You’re planning on going back to school next Fall right?… okay, back on topic:

I’m not comparing gay marriage to incest and polygamy, what I’m saying is that the legal interpretation that grants gay marriage could also be applied to them. Under the courts interpretation these should also be legal. I don’t think it’s ridiculous to think about the legal ramifications of the court’s ruling.

I don’t view Marriage and Domestic Partnerships as “separate but equal”. I view them as distinct definitions for two different scenarios. Just as the law has different definitions for corporations, legal licenses, etc. For example, if I am forming a LLC that shouldn’t be called the same thing as when I form an S Corporation. Even though they are different they both still have similar legal protections and can function as legal entities. Similarly, Marriage should describe a union between a man and a woman and a Domestic Partnership should describe a union between two people of the same sex.
You raise a good question on the studies, it would take me some time to research it enough for me to comment.I hesitate to comment on your remarks about my religious beliefs because I don’t want to make my argument in favor of Prop 8 based on religion. I would just mention that the church has never said that people can’t be gay. Nor has the church ever said that people can’t be alcoholics, promiscuous, adulterous, or have abortions. Instead the church teaches that these things are wrong and seeks to help people who wish to change.
Yes, every state does have different laws but state courts rely heavily on precedent and the laws of one state do influence the laws in another. I don’t think it is a valid point that what happened in New Jersey and Massachusetts will stay in NJ and MA and not happen in California. Laws change.
I’m glad that you respect religion, and I definitely respect your beliefs. Like I said earlier I appreciate you expressing them. True, we will not change each others’ minds but a lot of people have read this conversation and hopefully it will make them think about the issue. I also believe in equality for all, I am repulsed by discrimination and bigotry. I tire of our society holding on to prejudices. I also believe that a rose should be called a rose and a tree should be called a tree. That doesn’t mean that we have to hate the tree nor dig up the rose because the tree wants more sun. I believe that voting YES on Prop 8 will allow equality for all without digging up the roots of our society.